A user acquisition campaign (UA) is a great way to reach a big audience quickly, but it can also become a money pit that burns through f your resources in no time, especially if you don't know what you’re doing.
Here are 5 simple steps to follow if you're planning your first UA campaign.
Step 1: Define our Acquisition Goals
A well thought-out UA campaign can give you results across multiple goals when you do multiple marketing activities simultaneously, like outreach campaigns, paid video ads or social media marketing..
But first, you need to define what your user acquisition campaign goal is. Are you trying to acquire beta users? Maybe increase downloads or boost chart rankings in a particular country? Maybe you want to build a community?
Make sure it’s crystal clear who your target audience is: are you aiming for a small number of quality users to buy your game's In-app purchases (IAP) or a large number of users to boost marketplace rankings?
In addition to the goals mentioned above, you may also have goals like - building a community, increasing revenue, migrating users from an old version to an updated version of your game, etc.
Your user acquisition strategies must help you get closer to attaining your goals, so you don’t just end up with a mix of unplanned outcomes. So before you do anything else, set a goal for your first UA campaign.
Step 2. Estimate your ARPPU, LTV and CPI
Your very first campaign must provide sufficient information about the Average Revenue per Paying User (ARPPU), Lifetime Value (LTV) of the user and Cost per Installation (CPI) for the target audience.
These numbers will be the foundation of your future user acquisition for multiple goals. You can limit the CPIs and plan the spending budgets to pace at which point your game will reach its peak user levels.
Step 3. Setting up Timelines
The next step is the 'Timeline’. To try out new demographics or get to know your ARPPU, set week-long, or even shorter duration, campaigns. The exponential growth of your game will demand plenty of A/B testing with a number of ad creatives testing for weeks or days.
Different UA goals will have different timelines which must be well planned and well researched. Your game launches, updates, multiple platform launches and outreach will each have its own respective timeline which needs to align with your UA timeline.
Step 4. Determine the Number of Users That Matter
For each UA campaign, you must estimate the number of users you need to fulfill your goals.
Beta testing a simple mobile game might may only require 100 users, whereas a big Free to Play (F2P) game for Steam may need more than 1000 or even 5000 users. Similarly, testing LTV or CPI for a new geographical region will need at least 500 downloads from that region.
Once you’ve set the right goal and established which types of users you need, cap the estimates and set a strict timeline. Make sure you genuinely understand your UA campaign goals and the users you need to attain the desired results.
5. Decide if Your UA campaign is a Success or a Failure
Your campaigns may burn through money indefinitely, and you may fail to interpret the data unless you determine what success and failure look like.
It’s essential for you to use clear and well defined criteria based on your budget and timeline so you can quickly determine the status of your campaigns. Your campaign success –or failure– will help you scale your efforts up or down faster, helping you attain your UA goals without burning through huge amounts of money.